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Abraham Ortelius: Namurcum

Map: BELUX874
Cartographer: Abraham Ortelius
Title: Namurcum
Date: 1587
Published: Antwerp
Width: 20 inches / 51 cm
Height: 16 inches / 41 cm
Map ref: BELUX874
Splendid Dutch Golden Age map of the historical Duchy of Namur in Belgium.

The town of Namur, currently the capital of the region of Wallonia, has been a strategic fortification since at least Roman times. Through the centuries it has variously been held by the Belgians, the Dutch, the French, the Spanish, the Austrians, and the Germans. Ortelius in his atlas describes the county thus:

"neither mountainous nor plain, but raises here and there up to small hills and sinks down to valleys. The woods, of which the largest is called Martelange, yield plenty of game for gentlemen. It abounds with things necessary for a man's life."

The map's geographic source is an unpublished manuscript map of Luxembourg by Jacques Surhon from 1551 which was originally made for Charles V. In 1579, during the Eighty Years War (or Dutch Revolt) and when Antwerp became the capital following the Union of Utrecht, Ortelius was able to gain access to the map, first publishing it in his 1579 edition of Theatrum. Ortelius credits Surhon above the crest of Namur in the lower-right corner of the map, "Ioes Surhon descrip"

Coloured. French text on verso (image available on request). [BELUX874] [Marcel van den Broecke "Ortelius Atlas Maps, An Illustrated Guide" 2nd Edition: Ort 68]